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Najini Dikkovita
නජිනි දික්ඕවිට
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සාරාංශය

Najini Dikkovita නජිනි දික්ඕවිට
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තිරය පිටුපස සාමාජිකයෙක් ලෙස

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2022
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2022
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The first female who made a career of filmmaking in Sri Lanka was Sumithra Peries, the wife of the legendary filmmaker Lester James Peries. Thereafter Inoka Sathyanganie wrote her name in  both local and international cinema with her debut ‘Sulang Kirilli’ (Wind Bird). In between Sumithra and Inoka one or two female filmmakers tried to make a career in filmmaking.
 
Introduce to Sri Lankan cinema, the newest female filmmaker is Najini Dikkovita who is ready with her debut ‘Ruhire’. The film was to be released in April but the release has been postponed due to the ongoing pandemic.
 
A student of Gothami Balika Vidyalaya, Najini, from her school days wanted to become an artiste. From the age of seven, she acted and directed stage plays in her school. Following her Advanced Level studies she wanted to start a career in cinema, yet it was prevented by her parents who thought cinema was not a career for a girl.
 
Instead of arts she was forced select IT (Information Technolgy) and she graduated with Bachelor of IT degree from the Colombo University and worked as an IT auditor in two leading private companies.
 
“I did not enjoy my job as my dream was elsewhere. Having an idea to be a filmmaker I started learning fashion designing,”.
 
This helped Najini to find a role in cinema as a costume designer. Applying to a newspaper advertisement, she was selected to be the costumer designer of ‘Guttila’ a film directed by the late Tissa Nagodavithana. However the film yet to be released.
 
With her talent for script writing, Najini started to join cinema as an Assistant Director (AD) to a number of films, teledramas and musical videos.
 
“I somehow wanted to be a director and that was the only dream I had. So while working as an AD I also wrote scripts and improved scripts”.
 
 It was while she was working as an AD under another director she came across producer Udara Palliyaguru. Instead of the script proposed by the director, Udara had suggested his own story to which the director had refused.
 
“Then Udara asked me whether I could write and direct the story he had in his mind and I grabbed the opportunity,” says Najini elated the happy news.
 
 “This is going to be my life and future. I have learnt about cinema on my own and at present I am following a diploma on cinema at the National Film Corporation. Since we are in a smart world and there is ample opportunities to learn via online and it is not unachievable,” says Najini.
 
However while working as an AD Najini said that she learnt a lot about cinema from those in the cast and the crew. “I made it a point to learn something everyday,” says the young filmmaker.
 
“In whatever I do I wanted to present a good direction. It could be a teledrama, film or even even music video,”
 
Najini is a great admirer  of Indian filmmakers like Imithiaz Ali, Sanjaya Leela Bansali and Mani Rutnam.
 
“I think what is more important in cinema is how you could touch the emotions of your audience. If you have a good story and a script, the major part of your direction is complet” says Najini.
 
 A director of the new generation, Najini strongly believes that the role of the director is to lead the audience to the online platforms, as the future of cinema is there.
 
“At a time when filmgoers are leaving the traditional cinema, we can virtualize cinema hall too,”.
 
Najini says that she is ready to take the risk of releasing her maiden film as soon as the pandemic is over.
 
By Susitha Fernando
 
 
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